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Did Michael Bublé Steal Rhett Miller’s Song?

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Rhett Miller

 

It’s already very easy to hate Michael Bublé for giving us 8 albums of cheesy songs ready for the next Renée Zellweger movie or another episode of Dance with the Stars, but Rhett Miller has another reason to hate Bublé: he stole him a song!

In a recent interview with the A.V. Club the Old 97’s singer confides his hatred for the Canadian crooner and he is not really kind:

‘So, Michael Bublé is eminently hateable on his own without any personal reasons. It’s just his persona or his music. I don’t know him personally. I have heard some stories, but that’s all secondhand stuff.

I didn’t really dislike him personally until a couple of years ago I was in a restaurant and a song came on, and the person with whom I was eating said, “Hey, isn’t that you?” And I listened for a second and I felt like, “Oh, yeah…” You know, in a restaurant you can’t really hear what’s happening. I thought, “Yeah, that’s my song. That sounds like ‘Perfume.’” Which was the single off the 97’s Grand Theatre Vol. 2 in 2011. And as the song went on I realized, wait, there’s a pre-chorus section; that’s not in the song. And then it hit the chorus, and the chorus was different from my song, but weirdly, the lyrics in the chorus were the lyrics in my song. And so I Shazam-ed it, of course, and I figured out it was the Michael Bublé song called “It’s A Beautiful Day.” Then I went and did a little investigation, and it turns out that the verse of his song uses the same chord progression as “Perfume,” and that’s fine, because it’s a chord progression that we stole from Pachelbel’s Canon. The theme from Ordinary People. I’m not inventing the wheel with that chord progression. But it’s very close. His is one step up—I think ours is in C and his is in D. So it’s the same exact chord progression, which, like I said, wouldn’t be that weird because it’s a pretty common chord progression, if, when he hit the chorus, he didn’t use the same lyrics that are at the heart of our chorus, which are ‘it’s a beautiful day.’

At that point I’m thinking this can’t just be a complete coincidence. So I researched it, and who knows? There’s a whole team of writers on the song. It wasn’t just Bublé. In fact, who knows if he was even in the room when the song was written. And the song itself is pretty mean-spirited. Again, I’ve written mean-spirited songs where I’ve been happy about a breakup in a song, and I maybe haven’t said the nicest things about the person or the character in the song who’s breaking up, but once I felt like he was ripping me off, then the character in the song seemed even more like a jerk.’

All I can say is, what a rant! So Miller complains that Bublé stole his song but a minute later he admits he didn’t come up with this chord progression after all, because he stole it himself from Pachelbel’s Canon. Although there is another problem despite the obvious similarities between the songs: as he is saying the chorus is different. However the Bublé song contains the same line than his song ‘it’s a beautiful day’ which is pretty hard to come up with…

I know, I am making fun of Rhett Miller but I really think there is a similarity between the songs, so should we expect a Miller versus Bublé lawsuit in the future? Forget it!

‘I don’t know. I don’t see Michael Bublé and his legal team bending over, capitulating to me. But I know in my heart that he is sleeping on a bed of money that he stole out from under my children’s dinner plates. Is that enough of a mixed metaphor?’

Why is he so defeatist if there is really plagiarism? Miller is just not the kind to ‘to accuse anybody of anything’ and I wonder why when he seems so certain ‘it did seem a little fishy’….‘It was the same chord progression and the same lyric at the heart of the chorus. Come on. You’re better than that, Bublé.’

People like Rhett Miller will never sue because they consider themselves like ‘the underdog in this scenario’, he is certainly not the Marvin Gaye estate or even Tom Petty, but come on Rhett, get some confidence, the songs are very close, just listen to them:


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